The Bread in the Dark method and program have their roots back in 2010, when in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, the mother organization of the Bread Houses Network, the International Council for Cultural Centers (I3C), organized the first World Summer School “Arts for Sustainability in Social Transformation” (ASSiST) .
Within ASSiST, the first Bread House cultural center in the world, located in Gabrovo, hosted co-creative sessions using the innovative method “Theatre crumbs” in order for sighted people to make bread being blindfolded and thus to experience the world of those deprived of vision and to re-think their own personal world, mainly through the sense of touch.
The positive feedback on this methods by the Summer School participants, from over 30 countries on 6 continents, inspired us to continue with the “TOUCH” Project (2011-2012 years), funded by the European Cultural Foundation with partners from Bulgaria (Regional Center for Arts and Culture “The Fabric” and I3C/ Bread Houses Network), Spain (University of Design, Barcelona) and Denmark (the International network Cultura 21-Nordic).
The objectives of our activities were to include visually-impaired and sighted people in creating a new kind of “visual art” – tactile art – meant to be experienced through touch and senses other than vision.
Within the project, the Bread Houses Network developed cooperation with the Spanish National Association of the Blind (ONCE) – branch Barcelona. In Barcelona, together we organized workshops with mixed groups who engaged in kneading bread and creating chocolate bars into molds with messages written in Braille alphabet – as the message of each chocolate bar melts after being read with a finger, the reader has a choice to share or not, or change the message, with the others. This developed method “Bread and chocolate” with sight-impaired people further inspired the idea for the formation of the “Bread in the Dark” network of programs and social enterprises.